The Meaning of Heritage: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of heritage? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word heritage, including its definition, etymology, usage, examples, and more!

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What does the word heritage mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language and other sources like Collins English Dictionary and American Heritage, the word heritage is a noun that refers to something that is inherited or acquired from a predecessor, as well as some tradition, property that descends to an heir, or something that someone possessed as a result of their situation or birth. People can inherit many things, including possessions, an attribute, a way of life, some immaterial possession or inherited lot. Heritage is three syllables – her-i-tage, and the pronunciation of heritage is ˈher-ə-tij.

Many different languages also contain words that mean heritage. You may notice that some of these words look and sound similar to one another. These are called cognates, which are words that look, sound, and mean similar things across different languages. These are often formed when two languages or words share a common origin or ancestral language. Some languages use two different words to distinguish between physical property that is inherited and some tradition or genetic, non-physical inherited trait. This list of translations for the word heritage is provided by Word Sense. These can help you learn a second language!

Heritage (n.) – tradition or non-physical inheritance

  •  Romanian: tradiție‎ (fem.)
  •  Scottish Gaelic: dualchas‎ (masc.)
  •  German: (kulturelles) Erbe‎ (neut.)
  •  Georgian: მემკვიდრეობა‎
  •  Thai: มรดก‎ (moradok)
  •  Walloon: eritance‎ (fem.)
  •  Welsh: treftadaeth‎ (fem.)
  •  Ewe: domenyinu‎
  •  Serbo-Croatian: násljēđe‎ (fem.)
  •  Irish: oidhreacht‎ (fem.)
  •  French: héritage‎ (masc.)
  •  Vietnamese: di sản‎
  •  Mandarin: 遺產‎, 遗产‎ (yíchǎn)
  •  Polish: dziedzictwo‎ (neut.), spuścizna‎ (fem.)
  •  Esperanto: heredaĵo‎
  •  Portuguese: herança‎ (fem.)
  •  Swedish: arv‎, kulturarv‎
  •  Macedonian: наследство‎
  •  Turkish: gelenek‎, görenek‎, adet‎, anane‎
  •  Italian: ereditá‎ (fem.), retaggio‎ (masc.)
  •  Finnish: perinne‎, perimätieto‎, perintö‎
  •  Russian: насле́дие‎ (neut.)
  •  Malay: warisan‎
  •  Telugu: వారసత్వం‎ (vaarasatvam)
  •  Dutch: erfenis‎ (fem.), erfgoed‎ (neut.)
  •  Czech: dědictví‎ (neut.)

Heritage (n.) – property or physical inheritance

  •  Vietnamese: di sản‎
  •  Scottish Gaelic: oighreachd‎ (fem.)
  •  Macedonian: наследство‎
  •  Portuguese: herança‎ (fem.)
  •  Dutch: erfenis‎ (fem.)
  •  Welsh: etifeddiaeth‎ (fem.)
  •  Spanish: herencia‎ (fem.)
  •  Swedish: arv‎, arvegods‎
  •  Turkish: miras‎
  •  Walloon: eritaedje‎ (masc.), eritance‎ (fem.)
  •  Georgian: მემკვიდრეობა‎
  •  Thai: มรดก‎ (moradok)
  •  Russian: насле́дство‎ (neut.)
  •  Finnish: perintö‎
  •  Erzya: кадомапель‎
  •  Polish: spadek‎ (masc.)
  •  Ewe: domenyinu‎
  •  Irish: oidhreacht‎ (fem.)
  •  Mandarin: 遺產‎, 遗产‎ (yíchǎn)
  •  German: Erbschaft‎ (fem.), Erbe‎ (neut.)
  •  Italian: ereditá‎ (fem.)
  •  Telugu: వారసత్వం‎ (vaarasatvam)
  •  French: héritage‎ (masc.)
  •  Norwegian: arv‎
  •  Serbo-Croatian: nasledstvo‎ (neut.), násljēđe‎ (fem.)
  •  Danish: arv‎ (common)
  •  Czech: dědictví‎ (neut.)
  •  Japanese: 遺産‎ (いさん, isan)

What is the origin of the word heritage?

According to Etymonline, the word heritage has been used since 1200 in Middle English and comes from the Old French iritage, Old French eritage, and Old French heritage. This comes from the French heriter, a verb meaning to inherit, which comes from the Late Latin hereditary and heres, the genitive heredis meaning heir, as well as the Medieval Latin hērēditārius. This has been used since the 1620s to refer to a condition or state transmitted from ancestors. Related words can be formed by adding the suffixes ity and able – heredity (n.), hereditary (adj.) and heritable (adj.)

What are synonyms of the word heritage?

There are many different words that one can use in place of the word heritage. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same meaning as another word or phrase. Synonyms are useful words to know because they can help you avoid repeating the same word over and over again while also expanding your vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word heritage is provided by Thesaurus

  •  lot
  •  inheritance
  •  custom
  •  tradition
  •  estate
  •  heirship
  •  portion
  •  culture
  •  right
  •  fashion
  •  tradition
  •  dowry
  •  convention
  •  legacy
  •  birthright
  •  ancestry
  •  heritance
  •  patrimony
  •  bequest
  •  endowment
  •  share

How can the word heritage be used in a sentence?

The word heritage can be used in many different ways in the English language. Using words in a sentence is a great way to incorporate them into your vocabulary. You can also try making flashcards or quizzes to help you memorize their definitions. Try using this word of the day in a sentence today! Below are several examples of heritage to get you started.

The woman felt only inheritance would bring her popularity. Everyone only wanted to hang out with her because of her family’s heritage. They were responsible for many expensive monuments, and she felt she was only used for commercial purposes, not real friendship.

Suffering and the heritage of poverty were all her family knew. She hoped to change her lineage into a heritage of freedom someday. She didn’t want the generational suffering to continue onto her children, so she moved to America to pursue her dreams of becoming a lawyer. She felt proud to break the cycle.

She received a swath of land in her heritage. The beautiful, unspoilt natural environment was full of many a domesticated animal and crop of a traditional breed. She had her mother’s blessing to take the moors and turn them into something beautiful.

He came from a heritage of violence and was determined never to treat his family the way his father treated him. He approached marriage and family gently, and always wanted his wife and children to know that he would never abuse them the way his father did to him.

Overall, the word heritage means some hereditary succession of a particular person, or some right of inheritance of present-day society or personal characteristics by reason of birth. Many different things are considered heritage whether passed down by legal descent, emotional, or genetic criteria, from a mother’s blessing to the heritage of property.


  1. HERITAGE Synonyms: 21 Synonyms & Antonyms for HERITAGE | Thesaurus 
  2. heritage: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  3. heritage | Origin and meaning of heritage | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  4. Heritage | Definition of Heritage | Merriam-Webster